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THE SKINNY

BIRDS STORMING BACK

Post-hurricane pelicans to be flown to FLA.

Two brown pelicans blown to Rhode Island by the winds of Hurricane Sandy will be flown in a private plane today back to their natural habitat in Florida. The first of the large birds, whose wingspans measure 6 to 7 feet, was found on the side of a road at Fishermen's Memorial State Park on Nov. 7, nine days after the storm made landfall in New Jersey, said Jennifer Brooks, clinic director at the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island. The second pelican landed on a fishing boat about 120 miles south of Block Island the following day, she said. They were scheduled to be flown today to the Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Sanctuary in Ponce Inlet.

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NO MORE POSSUM DROP

Judge halts a tradition in N.C.

A possum drop that attracts thousands of people to a tiny town in western North Carolina each New Year's Eve may have had its last hurrah after a judge ruled this week that a state agency didn't have the authority to issue a permit for the event. "Citizens are prohibited from capturing and using wild animals for pets or amusement," Judge Fred Morrison wrote in his ruling. "Hunters must afford wild animals the same right Patrick Henry yearned for: 'Give me liberty, or give me death!'" The ruling ends a 19-year tradition of suspending a possum in a see-through box covered with holiday tinsel and lowering it to the ground at midnight. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had sued the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, which issues the permit for the event, saying it's illegal and cruel.

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NURSING A LAWSUIT

Teacher sues over breastfeeding rule

A former California schoolteacher is accusing school officials in a lawsuit of failing to accommodate her breastfeeding schedule. Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle is suing the Carmelo School, where she worked, and the Carmel Unified School District, alleging discrimination and wrongful termination. Boyle says before returning to work, she told a manager at the school that she would need about 15 minutes every day between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to pump her breasts. Boyle says that the manager told her to train her breasts not to make milk then and that the district made no accommodations to allow her to feed her newborn. According to Boyle, she later received a negative evaluation and was urged to quit.

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ULTIMATE IN RECYCLING

Old containers to become 20 condos

Plans are moving forward in Detroit to use empty shipping containers to build a $3.4 million, 20-unit condominium complex in Detroit. A model unit and sales center will break ground in mid December near the Wayne State University campus. First proposed in 2008, the project known as Exceptional Green Living will stack empty containers four high, cut in windows and doors, install plumbing, stairways and heating, and add amenities.

Compiled from wire services and other sources.

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